Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here
It’s Tax Time

It’s Tax Time

It’s that time of the year you dread.  Lucky it only comes once a year!  Doing your taxes can be overwhelming, but it is a necessary evil.   Even if you are going to owe money and can’t pay, make sure you file your taxes on time without an extension.   Most taxes that are filed on time without an extension and are over 3 years old are dischargeable in your bankruptcy, failing to file on time no could affect you in the future.

Here are five tips for organizing your self for tax season:

  1. Know what can be deducted.   For Example: Deduct cash, property and stock donations made to a charity. Make sure you have receipts. You can deduct mileage and vehicle expenses for a charitable purpose.   You can deduct your medical expenses including mileage for doctors.  You can deduct business expenses.
  2. Get proper documentation. Doctors,  pharmacies, child care providers will all provide you a print out of what you spent with them the prior year if you ask.  For any single contribution to a charity over $250, you must have a written acknowledgment from the charitable organization.  For property valued at more than $5,000, you must have a qualified appraisal.
  3. Keep limitations in mind. Your cash gifts are generally deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income. Noncash gifts, such as property or stock owned for more than one year, are generally deductible up to 30 percent. You can carry over any remaining deduction for up to five consecutive years.
  4. Transfer records to personal budgeting software such as QuickBooks or Quicken. Enter the information from tax-related transactions electronically to stay organized. Doing so will also help you forecast your tax situation to help you gauge whether to give more to maximize tax benefits.
  5. Involve the professionals. Hiring a CPA or accountant or tax attorney who is up to date on the tax laws to do your taxes is well worth the cost. Just remember you have to provide them the detailed information so they can get you your maximum deductions.

Clearwater Bankruptcy,  28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #361, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761,

Phone: (727) 330-1627 email: carollawsonesq@gmail.com

IRS SCAM ALERT

IRS SCAM ALERT

There is a scam auto dialer calling cell phones claiming to be the IRS.  The voice mail message goes like this:

” Hello. This call is officially a final notice from the IRS- Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you to get more information about this case file please call immediately on our department number 786-452-5241. I repeat 786-452-5241. Thank you ”

 

I repeat this is a SCAM do not call do not give your social security number or any personal information.

 

Clearwater Bankruptcy,  28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #300, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761,

Phone: (727) 330-1627 email: calh@gate.net

2015 Note Worthy Bankruptcy Cases

2015 Note Worthy Bankruptcy Cases

As the year comes to a close, some cases from 2015 in Bankruptcy Court should be noted.

§ 330(A) Hibbard v. General Electric Credit Union (In re Hibbard), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3885 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. November 13, 2015) (May, B.J.). Trustee’s attorneys’ fees awarded with significant reductions based on lodestar calculation.

§ 507(A)(1) In re Hause, 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3923 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. November 13, 2015) (Jackson, B.J.). Claim for lump sum payment to debtor’s former spouse owed pursuant to divorce in lieu of alimony was a property settlement not entitled to priority status.

§ 1329(B)(1)  In re Ford, 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3883 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. November 13, 2015) (Funk, B.J.). The debtor could modify the plan when the medical condition resulted in decreased income.

§ 506(A)  IN RE TRAVERS, 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3934 (Bankr. E.D. Ky. November 16, 2015) (Schaaf, B.J.) The wholly unsecured junior lien could be avoided as Sixth Circuit precedent was not affected by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Caulkett; discussing Lane case.

§ 522(D)(10)(D) IN RE ROYSTER, 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 4001 (Bankr. D. Kan. November 23, 2015) (Somers, B.J.)Attorney fees awarded to the debtor in state court divorce proceeding were not exempt.

§ 523(A)(8) JOHNSON V. UNITED STATES DEP’T OF EDUC. (IN RE JOHNSON), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 4000 (Bankr. N.D. Ala. November 24, 2015) (Mitchell, B.J.)_Discharge of student loan debt denied absent undue hardship.

§ 547(B) DYMARKOWSKI V. SAVAGE (IN RE HADLEY, 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3983 (Bankr.N.D. Ohio November 23, 2015) (Gustafson, B.J.) Prepetition transfer of motor vehicles to debtor’s attorney as payment of fees was avoidable.

§ 554(C) STURGEON V. HART CNTY. FIN., LLC (IN RE STURGEON), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3960 (Bankr. W.D. Ky. November 20, 2015) (Lloyd, B.J.)Bankruptcy court lacked jurisdiction over debtor’s adversary proceeding based on a claim abandoned by the trustee.

§ 105  KLOEBER V. MONTANARI (IN RE MONTANARI), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3682(Bankr. E.D. Tenn. October 29, 2015) (Bauknight, B.J.) Debtor sanctioned for failing to finalize agreed-upon, a binding settlement with creditor and settlement terms were incorporated in the final judgment.

§ 522(B)  LOWE V. DEBERRY (IN RE DEBERRY), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3694 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. October 28, 2015) (Gargotta, B.J.) Proceeds from the post-petition sale of the exempt homestead were not the property of the estate.

§ 522(P)(1)(A) BRUESS V. DIETZ (IN RE BRUESS), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3672 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. October 29, 2015) (Saladino, B.J.) Debtor’s homestead exemption limited where the property was acquired within 1215 days prior to the petition date.

§ 524(A)(2)  BEST V. NATIONSTAR MORTG. LLC (IN RE BEST), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3722 (B.A.P. 1st. Cir. October 30, 2015) (per curiam) Informational correspondence did not violate the discharge injunction.

§ 541  LEONARD V. WELLS FARGO HOME MORTG. CO. (IN RE LEONARD), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3686 (Bankr. N.D. Miss. October 29, 2015) (Ellington, B.J.)_Debtor lacked standing to pursue adversary proceeding based on the prepetition cause of action that was now the property of the estate.

§ 1307(B)  IN RE MILLS, 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3706 (Bankr. D. Kan. October 29, 2015)(Nugent, C.B.J.) Chapter 13 debtor had an absolute right to voluntary dismissal even inlight of alleged bad faith.

§ 1322(B)  JORDAHL V. BURRELL (IN RE JORDAHL), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3721 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. November 2, 2015) (Schermer, B.J.) Debtor’s plan could not provide for regular payments on student loan debt while paying less on other unsecured non-priority debts.

 

Clearwater Bankruptcy,  28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #300, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761,

Phone: (727) 330-1627 email: calh@gate.net

5th DCA- FL Holds Mortgagee Failed to Provide Sworn Copy of Acceleration Notice, Reverses Foreclosure Judgment

5th DCA- FL Holds Mortgagee Failed to Provide Sworn Copy of Acceleration Notice, Reverses Foreclosure Judgment

5th DCA State of Florida held  that trial court erred in granting a mortgagee’s motion for summary judgment when the plaintiff failed to provide an authenticated notice of acceleration.

http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2015/020215/5D14-1191.op.pdf 

 

 

 

Clearwater Bankruptcy,  28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #300, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761,

Phone: (727) 330-1627 email: calh@gate.net

3rd DCA- FL Reverses Foreclosure Judgment, Where Foreclosing Debt Buyer May Have Been Formed by Borrower With Sole Purpose of Eliminating Subordinate Liens

3rd DCA- FL Reverses Foreclosure Judgment, Where Foreclosing Debt Buyer May Have Been Formed by Borrower With Sole Purpose of Eliminating Subordinate Liens

3rd DCA Florida reversed a final summary judgment of foreclosure terminating constructions liens of the developer.

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=14261552780645400537&q=CDC+Builders,+Inc.+v+Biltmore&hl=en&as_sdt=40006

 

Clearwater Bankruptcy,  28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #300, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761,

Phone: (727) 330-1627 email: calh@gate.net

Debt Collection Calls

Debt Collection Calls

When creditors or debt collectors are attempting to collect a past-due debt. You may receive debt collection calls and voicemails in their attempts to collect a debt. There are several rules, that must be strictly followed if the creditor or debt collector is going to comply with both state (“FCCPA”) and federal (“FDCPA”) law.

Many creditor and debt collectors use technology (i.e., computers or software) to place these debt collection calls. Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (ATDS) and Predictive Telephone Dialing Systems (PTDS) are used to place calls repeatedly to consumers until a call is answered. This can mean that you are receiving calls dozens if not hundreds of times a month until a creditor or debt collector reaches you and secure payment.  The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) 47 U.S.C. Section 227, restricts telephone solicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of ATDS, and PTDS from placing or making telephone calls to consumers cellular telephones, as well as the use of prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines, in certain circumstances.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), creditors are strictly prohibited from behaving in a way that can be classified as harassing. This includes calling debtors at all hours of the night, using offensive language, persistently communicating with a debtor at their place of work after being asked to desist and misrepresenting facts in any way.

If you have notified a creditor or debt collector that you have hired an attorney for representation regarding your debts, the debt collector cannot call you to collect the debt. If it does, it is violating both the FCCPA and the FDCPA. You could be entitled to up to $2,000.00 statutory damages plus reasonable attorney fees and costs. If you have suffered from the abuse of a harassing creditor, you may have rights. Have the following taken place:

  1. Creditor/Debt Collector has notice of attorney representation regarding the debt;
  2. Creditor/Debt Collector Calls your cell phone in an attempt to collect the debt and has been told not to;
  3. Creditor/Debt Collector uses an Automatic Telephone Dialing System,

If a creditor or debt collector leaves a voicemail on your answering machine or cell phone, never delete it! It is evidence that could assist you in proving a violation of consumer protection laws and getting potentially thousands of dollars in damages, you could be entitled to up to $1,500.00 per call. Specifically note if the call was made to your cell phone, what your cell phone number is, and why you think the call was placed using an automatic telephone dialing system, also make note of the details of when the call was received, to what phone, etc.

 Revoking Consent

To revoke any consent Associated Recovery Systems or its affiliated entities have to contact you in an attempt to collect any debt owed to them, including revoking consent to use an automatic telephone dialing system to call your cellular telephone, please either:

  1. Tell them you have hired LAW OFFICE OF CAROL A. LAWSON, to represent you, give them our contact information and then use the Creditor Communications Log to capture information regarding debt collection calls;
  2. Send them a Cease & Desist Letter; or contact the creditor/debt collector and revoke consent with the creditor via their website or telephone.

 

 

Clearwater Bankruptcy,  28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #300, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761,

Phone: (727) 330-1627 email: calh@gate.net

 

 

 

TCPA  Changes Affecting Telemarketing

TCPA Changes Affecting Telemarketing

What you Need to Know:

Callers cannot avoid obtaining consumer consent for a robocall simply because they are not ‘currently’ or ‘presently’ dialing random or sequential phone numbers.”

2. A called party “may revoke consent at any time and through any reasonable means.”

The FCC states that “a called party may revoke consent at any time and through any reasonable means. A caller may not limit the manner in which revocation may occur.”

The FCC also emphasized that “regardless of the means by which a caller obtains consent, under longstanding [FCC] precedent, if any question arises as to whether prior express consent was provided by a call recipient, the burden is on the caller to prove that it obtained the necessary prior express consent.”

3.  Consent must be specific to the type of call, and type of telephone service of the number being dialed.

4. Only “the consumer assigned the telephone number dialed and billed for the call” or “the non-subscriber customary user of a telephone number included in a family or business calling plan” may consent.

However, “providing one’s phone number evidences prior express consent to be called at that number, absent instructions to the contrary.”—I got a real problem with this part. Just because I give Google my phone number and post it on my webpage does not mean I consent for business to call and solicit me. I really hate the Google partner calls wanting to do my ads or SEO.   Wonder if this counts as an expressed revocation of acceptance of solicitation calls under TCPA ???

5. “Callers are liable for robocalls to reassigned wireless numbers when the current subscriber to or customary user of the number has not consented, subject to a limited, one-call exception for cases in which the caller does not have actual or constructive knowledge of the reassignment.”

6. The FCC rejected one Petitioner’s arguments (subsequently withdrawn) that “the TCPA’s protections are limited to telemarketing calls to wireless numbers and should not require consent for non-telemarketing robocalls made with a predictive dialer.”

7. “The TCPA’s consent requirement applies to short message service text messages (“SMS” or “text message”),” as well as “internet to phone text messages,” in addition to voice calls.

8. The FCC’s 2012 “prior express written consent” rule is waived “for certain parties for a limited period of time to allow them to obtain updated consent.”

9. “'[O]n demand’ text messages sent in response to a consumer request are not subject to TCPA liability.”

10. “[C]ertain free, pro-consumer financial- and healthcare-related messages” are exempt “from the consumer-consent requirement, subject to strict conditions and limitations to protect consumer privacy.”

The FCC imposed the following restrictions and requirements regarding these messages:

“voice calls and text messages must be sent, if at all, only to the wireless telephone number provided by the customer of the financial institution;

voice calls and text messages must state the name and contact information of the financial institution (for voice calls, these disclosures must be made at the beginning of the call);

voice calls and text messages are strictly limited to the [specified purposes] and must not include any telemarketing, cross-marketing, solicitation, debt collection, or advertising content;

voice calls and text messages must be concise, generally one minute or less in length for voice calls (unless more time is needed to obtain customer responses or answer customer questions) and 160 characters or less in length for text messages;

a financial institution may initiate no more than three messages (whether by voice call or text message) per event over a three-day period for an affected account;

a financial institution must offer recipients within each message an easy means to opt out of future such messages, voice calls that could be answered by a live person must include an automated, interactive voice- and/or keypress-activated opt-out mechanism that enables the call recipient to make an opt-out request prior to terminating the call, voice calls that could be answered by an answering machine or voice mail service must include a toll-free number that the consumer can call to opt out of future calls, text messages must inform recipients of the ability to opt out by replying ‘STOP,’ which will be the exclusive means by which consumers may opt out of such messages; and

a financial institution must honor opt-out requests immediately.”

The FCC also adopted the following conditions for each exempted message made by or on behalf of a healthcare provider:

voice calls and text messages must be sent, if at all, only to the wireless telephone number provided by the patient;

voice calls and text messages must state the name and contact information of the healthcare provider (for voice calls, these disclosures would need to be made at the beginning of the call);

voice calls and text messages are strictly limited to [certain specific healthcare-related purposes]; must not include any telemarketing, solicitation, or advertising; may not include accounting, billing, debt-collection, or other financial content; and must comply with HIPAA privacy rules;

voice calls and text messages must be concise, generally one minute or less in length for voice calls and 160 characters or less in length for text messages;

a healthcare provider may initiate only one message (whether by voice call or text message) per day, up to a maximum of three voice calls or text messages combined per week from a specific healthcare provider;

a healthcare provider must offer recipients within each message an easy means to opt out of future such messages, voice calls that could be answered by a live person must include an automated, interactive voice- and/or keypress-activated opt-out mechanism that enables the call recipient to make an opt-out request prior to terminating the call, voice calls that could be answered by an answering machine or voice mail service must include a toll-free number that the consumer can call to opt out of future healthcare calls, text messages must inform recipients of the ability to opt out by replying ‘STOP,’ which will be the exclusive means by which consumers may opt out of such messages; and

a healthcare provider must honor the opt-out requests immediately.”

https://www.fcc.gov/document/tcpa-omnibus-declaratory-ruling-and-order-order

If your right have been violated contact our office to discuss the matter.

 

Clearwater Bankruptcy,  28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #300, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761,

Phone: (727) 330-1627 email: calh@gate.net